Venetian Carnival of Annecy

As the snows begin to melt in the mountains, a Venetian carnival pops up in the Alps, of all places, organised by the Annecy’s Italian Association. Annecy is known as the Alpine Venetia thanks to the series of waterways that criss-cross the charming town, but blissfully it is free from crowds. During the festival women wearing beautiful masks and dresses flitter around the lake like colourful birds, taking part in a series of parades and twilight walks. Befitting the setting, the atmosphere is refined and elegant; a marked difference from the rowdy raucousness of France’s Mardi Gras festivals in February. Forget the brass bands and cider-drunk crowds; these masked individuals are completely silent and glide through Annecy’s old town before pausing at the Jardin de l’Europe, overlooking the lake. Photo opportunities abound here in streets uncluttered by the tourist-tat that clings to the streets of the real Venice carnival. For something a little special, reserve a seat at the lavish banquet, held on the Saturday night.